Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Free Motion Quilting

I am doing at least 15 minutes of free motion quilting every day.  I really need the practice. 

I began quilting a quilt - recall the spirals are wonky. I want to watch the Olympics so I am only quilting a few minutes a day.

My stitches are becoming more even.

And the some spirals are getting better!

By the time I have this quilted, maybe I'll be back in the groove. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying the Olympics.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Christmas in July or August...

I made this Christmas table runner in April and then it just patiently waited to be sandwiched and quilted. One would think it could have been finished in July but I'll take August! I decided that I had not done any free motion quilting since April and I really needed some practice so this would be perfect.


It's about 12 1/2" by 33" but for some reason it took two pictures to include the whole thing.

The top is made from some scrap batiks. The backing is a scrap of beige cotton.  I decided to quilt the paisley pattern - it is well ingrained in my mind. Don't look too close - there are lots of uneven stitches.

Here's a close up of the front.


A few other things:

The Prism Quilt is pieced!

I began free motion quilting a quilt today with spirals - I'm thinking I'll call them wonky spirals.

Have you every made a stir fry using orange juice and cornstarch? As I cooked the veggies and meat, I used a little chicken stock and soy sauce (Bragg's liquid aminos) and then when things were close to being done, I added the OJ thickened with cornstarch. So far we've had this with chicken and with shrimp. The friend who suggested it has also used it with pork.

My poison ivy is improving. The doctor gave me new meds on Thursday and at last, I can see some real improvement. Hopefully I'll be my normal self soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kaffe Fassett top has borders

Remember my Kaffe Fassett top?
Unpressed top
It has borders! I wasn't sure what to do because I have very little fabric K. Fassett fabric, that is and I really wanted to finish this top. I had a fat quarter of orange so I made that work for the inner border and then I had just a yard of the purple that I used for the outer border.
Still not pressed well!

The 'plain' blue in the quilt - the secondary square and the center squares - isn't a Kaffe Fasset fabric. It is a hand dyed piece that I bought at Delve in Cedar Rapids, IA. It will probably be the binding also.


The quilt is about 73" square and I love it. Now I just need to decide what will go on the back - that might be a shopping trip.

It's been a busy day here - we picked up some major produce yesterday- a little at a farmer's market and lots at my favorite produce farm. 

The dehydrator has been running since last night. I know it's really hot out. I dried cucumbers and tomatoes last night. Today I did tomato puree. I want plenty of dried tomatoes so I will have tomato powder all year.  I'll do more next week.
Tomato puree
I also cooked onions in a slow cooker all day today to make dehydrated "fried" onion rings. They will go in the dehydrator in the morning with the rest of the onions which I diced in the Vitamix. Today the slow cooker was out on the screened porch; tomorrow, the dehydrator will be out on there.
Onions cooking down in slow cooker The slow cooker was full 10 hours earlier.
And we got some fresh peaches so I made some hand pies and peach cobbler. 
Peach hand pies. The prettier ones were frozen for later.
I froze some of the sweet corn and the yellow beans. Whew!

I love fresh produce, especially when it is organic. It's well worth a few day's work to enjoy it all year.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Baddeck Socks or Baadeck Socks

My Baddeck Socks are done! I bought the yarn at Baadeck Yarns in Baddeck, Nova Scotia in June. I thought it was only fitting to name these My Baddeck Socks or should I call them My Baadeck Socks?

I love the yarn - Turtlepurl Yarns Striped softshell turtle toes. The skein came in two pieces so I could easily make matching socks. The name of my color is What does it Mean? My socks are super soft.  

I used Ann Norling's Adult Basic Sock pattern. I probably won't use the pattern again as there are other patterns that I like better.

One thing I learned from the owner of Baadeck Yarns is to knit the first row in top down socks. I have always started the ribbing immediately. Knitting the first row is easier and the socks look and feel better.

Updates: 
Quilting - I'm making progress on the two tops I began at the retreat.
Dehydrating - Cucumber chips are good!
Poison Ivy - It's still with me - seems to be a little more severe than I originally thought. The first steroid treatment will end tomorrow. I think it's improving but looks like I still have a ways to go...

Friday, July 29, 2016

Quilt Retreat Projects

Becky worked the whole time cutting and sewing these gorgeous fabrics. Her king-sized quilt will be gorgeous when finished.

Betsy is just a few white sequins away from finishing this heirloom gift for a great grandchild. She just needs to find/buy about 30 sequins.

Sue cut the pieces and made all of these half square triangles. Then she began the process of piecing the blocks.

She did have one block of her large quilt finished and the rest are in progress.

Ritarose had this cute little project ready to bind - I think she finished binding it but I didn't get another photo.

She finished this gorgeous paper-pieced quilt top, including removing all of the paper.

 Deb spent a lot of time on this beautiful quilt.

Her next project was a Scottie quilt. I love this block - the Scottie is made of dachshund fabric.

This is her darling Scottie quilt.
  
Polly's  mission was to finish piecing this stunning quilt. It's been in the works for 4 - 5 years.

Polly had a number of other quilt to bind with her.




She also spent time working on this 365 Day Challenge Quilt

and blocks for her Gravity Quilt.

 

Pauline made all of the connector blocks for a BOM sampler quilt. I love her color palette.

Val put together her Farm Girl Quilt - it has many tiny pieces.

I worked on my Prism Quilt. It was supposed to be 7 blocks wide but we all decided it looked much better 8 blocks wide. I finished 56 blocks and need 8 more. I didn't have any more papers with me (it is paper-pieced). This is what I had on the design wall for a while.

My Kaffe Fassett quilt is together except for borders. I love the secondary design. I auditioned fabrics for the borders and we all agreed with Polly's suggestion that some orange is needed in one border. Now I will go through my stash and see if I have something that will work.  If not, I'll just have to go shopping!

After getting home from the retreat yesterday, I was back at the doctor. Did I mention that I have a bad case of poison ivy on my arms and face? I came into contact on July 16th and started breaking out on July 21. While on retreat, I had a reaction to an over-the-counter cortisone cream - ugh! I am not contagious but I am very uncomfortable and my skin keeps weeping. I have now started a steroid treatment. Today I will be resting, sleeping, taking a few cool showers and not doing much else. I'm hopeful that I'll be back to 'normal' next week.

July Quilt Retreat

Another retreat at the Prairie Star Lodge - another great time!  Nine of us enjoyed a few days of stitching together.

Let me introduce my industrious friends:

Becky (that's Betsy in the background)
Polly
Ritarose
Sue
Betsy
Deb
Pauline
Val
Some miscellaneous photos:
From a morning walk - fog in the distance


From a morning walk- fog in the distance 
A swan made of paper squares

Neat pincushion

Mascot

Fun in the pool
 Our projects are in the next post.

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